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Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 | 2 comments

Happy Fourth of July!

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Being away from “home” is certainly more difficult on important days. Especially during our kids birthdays, holidays and when exciting things are happening at home with our friends and family. For some reason the Fourth this year was difficult for both of us.

Growing up the 4th of July was always at the beach on Lake Sammamish, rain or shine. We would swim, picnic and have an awesome fireworks display. When our kids got older and we had wonderful neighborhood BBQ’s, I would worry constantly about fingers being blown off and was secretly happy when they outlawed fireworks in our town. When that happened it led to a job where planning for a city Fourth of July event took up most of my year, which was always a long day but a wonderful feeling of community surrounded by thousands of people celebrating our independence. For me the Fourth is a time for family, friends, food and fun. A wonderful holiday with many, many fond memories.

Living in a country with a socialist government makes us more and more grateful for the freedoms we are afforded at home. It makes us appreciate and more aware of everything we took for granted.

Although living abroad can be difficult it is not without it perks. John got to participate in a Fourth of July event at the embassy in Hanoi with a surprise guest, President Bill Clinton. We ate delicious hamburgers at the bargain price of $5. We came back to Hanoi and watched the sky light up with a magnificent lightning storm.


The historic event also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam


Ambassador Ted Osius, his partner Clayton and President Clinton.

To top things off on the morning of our Fifth of July our daughter called us from New York so we could watch the fireworks via her cell phone. It made me think – I could have each of the kids call us and share their 4th of July fireworks in Arizona, Idaho, Vancouver Wa, and Seattle; but that would take all day.


Our oldest and youngest daughters, celebrating the Fourth in NYC.

No matter where you are, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and take a moment to reflect on the reason why we celebrate.


For which we are so grateful.

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  1. Oh guys, it is good to know you had a somewhat fun 4th. Sure missed you two here. We broke tradition this year, Dawn. No setting up our spot at 11:00am. then returning at 4:30ish. The “regulars” had other things going on and besides, it was just too darn hot!!! I did fill the van with family and lawn chairs and go down about 9pm. Still hot but not as bad. Missed you and John “patrolling” the area. The show was fabulous. City did a terrific job, just like last year. The new Aquatic Center is taking a lot of room, but I guess that’s progress. Not the same though, without the Sanders. Really, really enjoyed your pics of Hanoi and John with Clinton. Your adventure has been a large source of entertainment for all of us still here.
    We love and miss you two EVERY day!!!!!

    • Hello Jane! I thought about you also on the Fourth. So glad you made it back home in time to celebrate. Can’t wait to see the changes at the commons.

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